plural noun, singular Perioecus [per-ee-ee-kuhs] .
the inhabitants of ancient Laconia, constituting a dependent people of Sparta, who governed themselves and had a monopoly on trade and manufacture. Compare Helot ( def 1 ), Spartiate.

1585–95; < Medieval Latin perioecī < Greek períoikoi countryside dwellers, noun use of plural of períoikos neighboring, equivalent to peri- peri- + -oikos, adj. derivative of oîkos house

perioecic, perioecid, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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